Penanceis a new three-part drama over three nights which takes place at Christmas, making me wonder if the scheduling for this has rather been delayed.
Anyhoo, what better time of year to have a tragedy, especially a young lad, as two cops turn up at the house of Rosalie Douglas (Julie Graham – Doctor Who: The Timeless Children), husband Luke (Neil Morrissey) and daughter Maddie (Tallulah Greive) to tell them that other sibling, Rob, has died in a tragic swimming accident in Thailand.
Then again, the plot swiftly moves on two months down the line, as friends and family come together to commemorate the day of what would’ve been Rob’s 20th birthday.
Before long, Maddie goes off drinking with her friends, the family starts to fall apart, and they meet a young man called Jed (Nico Mirallegro – Rillington Place) at a self-help group for bereaved people who have lost loved ones.
But, before you can shout “MILFs R Us“, Jed and Rosalie realise they have a mutual attraction, although I’m trying to work out the ages that he and Maddie are meant to be. She’s wearing a hairgrip – making her look like a young teenager, while Nico Mirallegro is 29 years old in real life. Tallulah Greive is 22, so there’s no signficant age gap there if they’re meant to be those ages. Then again, no 22-year-old would wear a hairgrip… unless I’m completely out of touch with modern society and fashion. Which is quite possible, especially since I don’t understand the point of tattoos or ripped jeans.
Questions arise as to who Jed really is, along with his background, and yes, this is generally an ‘outsider invagles their way into the lives of a family who’ve suffered a loss’ drama; and by the end of the run, it’ll all be out in the open. So, it’s how it all pans out which is where the engagement lies.
However, beyond the first episode, while the acting is decent, Penance does tend to fall into soap opera-style plotting, and is similarly predictable.
Naturally, I’ll give no spoilers, so I’ll only give the general advice that the answer in life is to rule with your head, and not always with your genitals.
Penance begins tomorrow night on Channel 5 at 9pm, and each night until Thursday when it concludes. It is not yet available to pre-order on DVD, but you can buy the paperback novel.
If you missed it, you can watch the each episode on the My5 for 30 days after transmission.
Episode 1 Score: 6/10
Episode 2 Score: 5/10
Episode 3 Score: 4/10
Director: Maurice Sweeney
Producer: Alex Jones
Screenplay: Ben Morris
Novel: Kate O’Riordan
Music: Ray Harman
Rosalie Douglas: Julie Graham
Luke Douglas: Neil Morrissey
Maddie Douglas: Tallulah Greive
Father Tom: Art Malik
Jed: Nico Mirallegro
Fay: Wanda Ventham
Yaz: Bláithín Mac Gabhann
Mrs. Halloran: Cathy Belton
DS Simon Wren: Trevor Kaneswaran
PC Goodson: Diona Doherty
Ayesha: Shereen Walker
Ed Grayling: Anthony Brophy
Valerie: Sharon Coade
Bereaved Woman: Lucy Cray-Miller
Stacey: Anna Sheils-McNamee
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.